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Old 24-03-2008, 08:25   #1
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Cell phone, WiFi and WiMax in Leewards?

Greetings all,
New member and first post.

I have seached the site for information on the subject questions and did not find much info.

We leave March 28th for St Kitts, board the boats on the 30th and depart for Saba, Sint Eustatius and St Martin, then onto Anguilla and the BVI's where we depart for the USA on April 23rd.

I have been trying to find info on cell service: Verizon-Sprint-AT&T-TMobile, etc. Unfortunately, we are somewhat on a business trip so "staying in contact" is a requirement.
Are pre-paid cells on each major island an option to keep in contact with members of our party (we are on two cats)? As we are moving between islands I assume the service providers change from island to island?

Also, what are the options for WIMAx (wide area wireless internet) on any of these islands?

Is there a list of WiFi hot spots and fees/free list?

Thanks in advance!

Marion
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Old 24-03-2008, 10:17   #2
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For cell phone use check with your own carrier(s) first. The list varies over time and each island may have their own services and they change. Often extending coverage is possible and they can tell you the latest list of coverage. An upgrade fee may be common but you can turn it on and off as required. Again the list changes.

Internet access is common throughout the Caribbean. WiFi spots seem to sprout up all over so ask locally. WiMax is not common at all. I'm not aware of any place yet in the islands but it could be coming some place. Again this is a very local thing. You may be able to contact the various country phone offices for deals and packages for throw away cell phones. You can usually purchase local long distance calling cards for land based long distance almost any place.

Many islands use Cable and Wireless for services and they often have a monopoly for wireless telephone.
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Old 24-03-2008, 11:11   #3
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For cell phone use check with your own carrier(s) first. The list varies over time and each island may have their own services and they change. Often extending coverage is possible and they can tell you the latest list of coverage. An upgrade fee may be common but you can turn it on and off as required. Again the list changes.

Internet access is common throughout the Caribbean. WiFi spots seem to sprout up all over so ask locally. WiMax is not common at all. I'm not aware of any place yet in the islands but it could be coming some place. Again this is a very local thing. You may be able to contact the various country phone offices for deals and packages for throw away cell phones. You can usually purchase local long distance calling cards for land based long distance almost any place.

Many islands use Cable and Wireless for services and they often have a monopoly for wireless telephone.

Thanks Pblais for the update!

Been a few years since I have been in the region so I had hoped that my research was flawed. So Cable and Wireless continues to hold the area hostage just as American Airlines have done until recently. Unfortunate.

On my little expat island in the US we have been lucky enough to have a WISP (Wireless Internet Service Provider) come in after Ivan and cover the island as a competitor for the local Bell. With Vonage or similar service we have cut the cord.

Best regards.
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Old 24-03-2008, 11:26   #4
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Hello, Marion.

Cable and Wireless reigns suppreme on the British heritage islands, but DigiCell and Chippie are making inroads, at least here on Nevis. My C&W prepaid phone works on St Martin, as well. Saba and Statia, being Dutch, have a different provider. I don't know if C&W will work there. If you buy a prepaid phone, or a SIM card for an existing phone, in St Kitts, you will be roaming elsewhere.

Local WiFi is popping up all around, usually at beach bar/restaurants. Usually you need to go ashore to access them. I have no info on WiMax availability.
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Old 24-03-2008, 11:42   #5
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Hello, Marion.

Cable and Wireless reigns suppreme on the British heritage islands, but DigiCell and Chippie are making inroads, at least here on Nevis. My C&W prepaid phone works on St Martin, as well. Saba and Statia, being Dutch, have a different provider. I don't know if C&W will work there. If you buy a prepaid phone, or a SIM card for an existing phone, in St Kitts, you will be roaming elsewhere.

Local WiFi is popping up all around, usually at beach bar/restaurants. Usually you need to go ashore to access them. I have no info on WiMax availability.
Thanks HUD3. I saw you were berthed in the area and thought you might weigh in with some good info. Hope you enjoyed the swells last week!
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Old 24-03-2008, 14:39   #6
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...
On my little expat island in the US
Is your Dauphin Island S. of Mobile, Alabama ?
How badly did 'Ivan' beat you up?
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Old 24-03-2008, 15:28   #7
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Is your Dauphin Island S. of Mobile, Alabama ?
How badly did 'Ivan' beat you up?

You are correct: 30°15′23″N 88°07′31″W / 30.256429, -88.125231

Do you know the area??

We had a pretty good blast from Ivan but it's eye jogged east 50 miles ant the last minute taking the bulls eye off us and putting us on on the western side of the storm. Katrina took out about 350 homes before blasting Bayou La Batre (Bubba Gump Shrimp Co). Fortunately, we have an offshore "Sand Island" which, with the mother dune system, protects the Eastern end of the island from the full force of breaking waves. Quite the tale of two worlds, I have a rental cottaeg on the low lying western end and a primary home behind the mother dune to the east. Just lost a couple of screens from the 2nd floor porch and no flooding at the primary home and a 1 mile to the east the rental was totally destroyed, leaving one piling.


We rebuilt immediately with a strong modular/systems built home and feel fairly secure.


Finished:
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Old 24-03-2008, 15:46   #8
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Don't really know the area, just remembered seeing some before & after pics.
Hurricane Katrina - Coastal Change Hazards: Hurricanes and Extreme Storms
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Old 24-03-2008, 16:19   #9
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Don't really know the area, just remembered seeing some before & after pics.
Hurricane Katrina - Coastal Change Hazards: Hurricanes and Extreme Storms

Yes, there was some serious damage from those back to back storms, as those photos of before and after portray. The island is healing now that the Corp of Engineers have started dumping ships channel dredged sand back into the littoral drift zone after years of deep water dumping.
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